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McLaren takes over Mercedes entry for 2023

McLaren Racing will enter Formula E in 2023, taking over the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team.

The famous motorsport brand had announced at the start of 2021 that it had the option to join the championship at the start of the series’ ninth season. McLaren now confirms it will take up that option through an acquisition of the Merecedes FE team which will take place later this year.

“McLaren Racing always seeks to compete against the best and on the leading edge of technology, providing our fans, partners and people with new ways to be excited, entertained and inspired,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “Formula E, like all our racing series, fulfils all those criteria.

“As with all forms of the sport we participate in, Formula E has racing at the centre but will be strategically, commercially and technically additive to McLaren Racing overall.

“I firmly believe that Formula E will give McLaren Racing a competitive advantage through greater understanding of EV racing, while providing a point of difference to our fans, partners and people and continuing to drive us along our sustainable pathway.”

McLaren already has experience in EV racing. The team joined Extreme E for the off-roading series’ second season and currently lies fifth in the standings after the opening round. McLaren has also previously been involved in Formula E through its McLaren Applied Technologies arm, which supplies batteries to the Gen 2 car. Williams Advanced Engineering will take over that commitment for the next generation of FE car.

McLaren’s commitment to FE takes the series to 12 teams for the 2023 season. Mercedes’ team principal Ian James will continue in his role after the McLaren take over.

“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team,” he said. “Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success.

“Becoming part of the McLaren Racing family is a privilege: McLaren has always been synonymous with success and high-performance. This is a great moment for all parties involved but, above all, for the people that make up this team. They are what keeps its heart beating. Being able to continue working with them is what I am most excited about.

“I’m very much looking forward for this next chapter for the team and will be a proud member of it in Season 9. Until then, we will be focused on delivering the best results possible as the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team for the remainder of the current season.”

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle added: “McLaren is one of the most iconic names in world sport with a global fanbase and a glittering list of accomplishments across multiple forms of motorsport.

“From next season and the start of the Gen 3 era, the only place to see McLaren go head-to-head with historic motorsport names including Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and Nissan is in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“They will be taking their place on the grid amongst 12 highly-competitive teams and 24 of the sport’s most talented drivers racing in the fastest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. That is a unique and mouth-watering offering for fans, and I am excited that McLaren is joining Formula E to make this dream a reality.”

Bethonie Waring

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